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Pad Thai

Pad Thai from Racha Thai in Worcester

Pad Thai from Racha Thai in Worcester

When I found out that our Foodies group was going to Racha Thai, I was very intrigued as I had never eaten there and had always regarded it as just a “take out” food counter with a limited menu and only “so-so’ food. But, as is often the case I was very, very wrong as Racha Thai features a nicely decorated, albeit smaller, dining room and some of the finest Thai cuisine I have ever tasted. Before I went to eat I surveyed some friends, some of whom had great things to say about the food, and others had driven by but had never stopped to eat.

Upon arriving our group was seated and greeted by an extremely pleasant waitress. The menu was extensive, but I already knew what I was ordering for my meal. My dining companion and I, along with another couple decided to share a few appetizers and we chose the Mini Thai Rolls and Chicken Satay. Both came very quickly, accompanied by standard Thai peanut, cucumber and sweet & sour sauces. The deep fried Rolls deep were served hot and the Satay was moist, tender and perfectly cooked. The sauces were great and worked well with both choices.

For my meal, I chose the Pad Thai, which I know is not very adventurous but, one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time. As usual I asked to have it prepared “spicy’ and when I tasted it I was not disappointed, as it was the perfect balance of heat (from red chili peppers) and flavor. The very generous portion included both tender shrimp and chicken, perfectly stir-fried rice noodles and plenty of sprouts, crushed peanuts and scallions. This tried and true recipe was outstanding and certainly rates with the some of the best Pad Thai I have ever had.

On another note, I did try my dining companion’s Spicy Noodle entree (which she insisted on having prepared “extra spicy”) and found that to be similarly tasty as my dish. -JG

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Paella Classica

Paella Classica

Paella ClassicaThe January Foodie’s event broke from the normal structure as we were welcomed at Bocado Tapas and Wine Bar for a special meal where the Bocado team replicated a communal dining experience for us. The menu was extravagant and included four courses and a total of seven unique dishes, as well as having the Executive Chef educate us on what we were about to enjoy!

The atmosphere in the large dining area at Bocado is beautiful, with an attention to detail not found in most restaurants. The room is dimly lit with rich deep, warm colored paintings set against the red brick interior. The high wooden tables allowed for us to be seated in small groups and encouraged everyone to share the food which was served in a traditional, family-style manner.

The evening started with a choice of Bocado’s outstanding white or red Sangria which was enjoyed as our group mingled. When we were seated at our table, we began the night with a Cheese and Charcuterie platter with that consisted of a sheep’s milk Manchego cheese (Spain’s most famous cheese) and a dry cured Serrano ham, both of which had a deep, satisfying flavor.

The Tapas course began with a Tortilla Espanola which was described as a potato, egg and onion omelet topped with a red pepper creme fraiche. The dish was unusual and had our table perplexed as it consisted of more potato than egg, but was delicious nonetheless. The red pepper fraiche had enough heat to stand up to the potato and egg combination.

Next came the Pollo Asado Con Naranja Y Aceitunas, an outstanding combination of chicken thighs with orange sauce and olives. The dark meat chicken and salty olives proved to be a flavor combination worthy of a second helping!

The final Tapas we enjoyed was Calamares Con Ajo, a dish that seasoned Bocado visitors know is a signature dish of the restaurant and one that must be ordered. This extremely light and flavorful offering of Calamari was the perfect ending to the Tapas portion of our meal.

By this point of our meal, most of my fellow diners had eaten enough and were completely satisfied. I on the other hand was looking forward to our main course, the Paella Classica and Paella De Carne. Paella is a staple in the Spanish diet and is made from rice seasoned with saffron and then mixed with just about any other meat, seafood or vegetable. The Classica Paella was made from calamari, shrimp, chorizo, mussels and little necks and the Carne Paella had chicken, veal and duck. The combination of flavors in both dishes were truly outstanding, very different and ultimately very satisfying. Paella is truly the comfort food of Spain!

And finally dessert…as if any of us needed it! Postres Churros y Chocolate are fried dough pastries, topped with sugar and served with hot melted chocolate dipping sauce that you absolutely must order. They were the perfect ending to a very memorable meal.

From sharing food with friends, great flavors, outstanding service and a rich, but comfortable atmosphere, the dining experience at is one that was thoroughly enjoyable.  -JG